Cheltenham Town Ladies 2 St Nicholas 1
On a very difficult day weather wise and a heavy pitch, Cheltenham Town Ladies earned a hard fought home win to move into the first round proper of the FA Women’s Cup.
Starting with their usual diamond midfield formation, Cheltenham started well and soon put the St Nicholas defence under pressure. Without creating any real clear cut chances, Cheltenham were on top and searching for the early goal to settle their nerves.
A goalkeeping error handed Cheltenham the opening goal, with Rhona Donaldson on hand to capitalise on the error. Confidence seemed to flow through the teams, with Sophie Wyatt running things in midfield, Cheltenham continued to press for a second.
From nowhere St Nicholas captain Natalie Coles turned inside and from the right hand corner of the 18-yard-box curled a terrific shot beyond goalkeeper Anna Dennis to equalise.
Cheltenham seemed to lose their way a little, but then out of nowhere, a threw ball saw Emily Skipp through on goal and she finished with aplomb, to restore Cheltenham’s lead.
The second half started with Cheltenham looking to increase their lead, but St Nicholas restricted them to long-range efforts from Skipp and Donaldson. Headed chances then fell to Catherine Reilly, but good sves prevented Cheltenham increasing their lead. Meanwhile Cheltenham’s defence held firm restricting St Nicholas to very few efforts on target, with Dennis relatively untroubled.
The second half continued with heavy rain showers spoiling the flow of play, this allowed Cheltenham to comfortably see the game out, and safely through to the first round proper.
The youth team start their FA Cup campaign at home to Weston-super-Mare on Tuesday evening (7.30pm kick-off), with Mark Yates' senior team hosting League One Swindon Town on Saturday (3pm).